Side reins

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Side reins

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    11-14-2010, 11:18 PM
Green Broke
Side reins

I know there are other discussions on here about them but I just need to clarify

First of do you need a lunge roller to use the side reins or can you just attach them to the saddle, the girth I think.

Also because my horse has never used them I will have it on the first hole for two weeks then go up a hole, but I was wondering how ofter would you have to use it, like twice a week? Three times?? Or maybe just once?

Thanks in advance :)
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    11-15-2010, 04:16 AM
You can use side reins with a saddle or roller, just slip the side reins though the girth if using a saddle.

I only use side reins once the horse is accepting of a contact under saddle, and lunges well off voice commands, and will go forward easily when asked. If you have problems with forwardness on the lunge, you're going to accentuate those problems with side reins as the horse will hit the contact and want to stop, and sometimes they will go to the extreme of flipping themselves over when they feel that pressure - so you REALLY need to know what you're doing with them.

Keep them loose for the first few attempts in them, but not loose so they're dangling and going to create uneven pressure on the bit. There should be a contact, when the horse reaches forward a little in a comfortable, working frame, but not pulling the horse's head into it's chest.

The biggest factor is forward when using side reins. If you don't have forward, they have no purpose and will probably be detrimental, teaching the horse to suck back off the contact or brace onto it.
    11-15-2010, 04:29 AM
Green Broke
Sideriens are a very good tool perticularly with youngstock.

I put them on fairly loose for a few sessions (tight enough thta there is a feel of some contact but not much) when they are used to that I tighten them. They should never be tight enough that they are pulling the horses head down. However you should get to a point where they do encourage the pony to give.

I've never had a problem getting forwards from youngsters as they tend to have a problem with slow down instead. However I would not use sidereins on a horse that didnt go forwards. I'd probaby use something like a passoa instead in order to get his bum under him.
    11-15-2010, 04:42 AM
Green Broke
Oh he has forward :) thankfully I can make him walk trot and canter without evening lifting up the whip. It took a while but he's finally doing it.

I was thinking of getting some because he is very much front end orientated, like he is not using his bum properly and I want him to.

Would that be the right thing to do now?

I should give some background info :)
Buzz 16 year old OTTB his training has been all over the place, when I got him 2 years ago he wouldn't lunge, deffinatly wouldn't canter on the lunge and when ridden was very unbalanced. He now lunges like a dream, canters boths sides, is more balanced when ridden.
I didn't really understand the aspects of getting your horse to work properly but now I do and I really want to achieve this with Buzz.
I am planning on getting lessons soon but with my stupid job they don't give me enough shifts and am only just surviving, so that's a goal for next year :)
    11-15-2010, 04:53 AM
I do love side reins, but find they are better used on a horse that will engage the hind end under saddle rather than one that 'plops' around on the forehand. Does Buzz lean on the bit at all when you ride him? Or does he suck back behind the contact? If he does either of these, I probably wouldn't put him in side reins just yet, I think a more worth while investment would be a pessoa as faye mentioned above, as they encourage the hind end to come more underneath the horse, and as it clips onto the bit using a rolling clip, there is nothing for the horse to hang onto or suck back to, but still encourages the lowering and stretching of the neck form the wither.
    11-15-2010, 05:00 AM
Green Broke
He doesn't lean on the bit and I don't think he sucks back but I'm not to sure what that means.
He just carries his head high amd it just feels like he is propelling with his front end more then his backend.
When I lunged him the other day I did lots of transitions walk trot walk and trot canter trot, by the end of it he looking like he was using his bum a bit more efficiently.
Before it looked like his back legs were just there, not doing much but by the end they looked slighlty more under himself I think.
I was just thinking maybe side reins would help him along?
    11-15-2010, 05:27 AM
Green Broke
A passoa would probably be more helpful. It encourages the horse to use its back end more whilst encouraging the development of correct carriage and top line muscles
    11-15-2010, 06:07 AM
Sucking back means that the horse is evading contact by dropping it's head behind the vertical so that there is no pressure in it's mouth. It doesn't sound like Buzz is doing that though.

I really would go for the pessoa above side reins if you're not totally competent in using side reins, as they can do a lot more harm than good in uneducated hands. The pessoa is far more forgiving and requires less knowledge to get a good result. Side reins are quite tricky to use when first training a horse to accept them and when using them as a training device to correct a behaviour.
    11-15-2010, 07:40 AM
Green Broke
Okay I will look into investing into a pair of them :)
Can they still be used with a saddle?
    11-15-2010, 07:48 AM
Google 'pessoa training aid'. It's not like two individual reins, it is a single set up kind of like a pulley system. A strap goes under the horse's tail/over the hindquarters to encourage hind leg engagement, then clips onto the roller points with a 'rolling' clip attached to each side of the bit. The 'bum strap' encourages the hind end to 'sit', while the rolling clips attached to the bit encourage downwards stretching without giving the opportunity for the horse to lean or duck behind the contact.

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